Category Archives: Events

Update on project 3: Women graduates

Margaret Boyd, first woman graduate portrait, Ohio University, circa 1890

Last week, a challenge was posted to send the name and details of the first woman to graduate from your college or school.

Here is the beginning of a spreadsheet with the data that’s coming in:

These are priceless stories. Don’t be left out. Send the information on your own institution’s history and it will be included. Sincere thanks to all who are participating!

2020 Gillett G. Griffin memorial lecture cancelled

Kevin Barry talks to WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone. from Irish Arts Center on Vimeo.

Sadly, the Gillett Griffin memorial lecture scheduled for April 2020 is cancelled, along with our colleague’s New Irish Fiction panel at Columbia University. As a replacement, here’s a video of Kevin Barry talking with WNYC’s Brooke Gladstone at the NYC Irish Arts Center last fall when his novel Night Boat to Tangier first appeared in the US.

Here also is a section to read:

“Kevin Barry, one of Ireland’s most exciting novelists, reads from and discusses his latest work Night Boat to Tangier, a tragicomic Irish saga of menace and romance, mutual betrayals and serial exiles. Author and journalist Brooke Gladstone, of WNYC’s On The Media, moderates.”

See also:

A Midnight Modern Conversation and other online resources

Princeton University has recorded and offers a tremendous repository of online lectures, conversations, panels, and classes. For example in 2011, to open the Graphic Arts Collection’s exhibition Sin and the City: William Hogarth’s London, we organized a panel of amazing world experts including Tim Hitchcock, Linda Colley, Claude Rawson, and Mark Hallett. We called it “A Midnight Modern Conversation” in honor of Hogarth. The discussion was and is illuminating and highly recommended for students of art history, British history, city planning, and more. Here is the link:


Last fall, the Princeton University Art Museum hung a show entitled States of Health: Visualizing Illness and Healing. A wonderful full-day symposium was held with artists, doctors, historians, and more, which can be found at this link: A shout-out to Eric Avery, printmaker and M.D. specializing in infectious diseases.



Here is a thrilling conversation between Hugh Hayden and Chika Okeke-Ogulu about the artist’s life and work. Link to it here:



Poetry? Watch and listen to Paul Muldoon reading from his then new book, In the Horse Latitudes, on August 20th, 2013. Find it here:

Another interview and reading here:



A conversation with the great contemporary artist and calligrapher Shahzia Sikander:

Here’s a video with the brilliant Ghana sculptor El Anatsui:

And much more…

Morning at Princeton 10:00 a.m. March 16, 2020, for the archives

Rt. 1 to Princeton

When Worlds Collide: Poetry and Computation


Members of the class “When Worlds Collide: Poetry and Computation” visited the Graphic Arts Collection looking at ways the classic poetry book has been deconstructed beginning with Walt Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass to a 2017 scroll edition of Hart Crane’s The Bridge with woodblock prints by Joel Shapiro. A wide variety of materials were pulled including four distinct versions of Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hazard. Pages designed in positive and negative space are featured in Paul Éluard’s Proverbe, Guillaume Apollinaire’s Calligrammes, and Werner Pfeiffer’s Liber Mobile.

The interdisciplinary seminar, taught by Brian W. Kernighan and Efthymia Rentzou, brings together humanities and applied sciences, addressing questions of literacy, media, and modes of knowledge. The course is organized around poetry and digital technology and explores the history of each as systems of relating, organizing, and understanding the real. Media technologies and means of communication for both poetry and computing — from orality to writing, from the alphabet to the printing press, from the scroll to the book, from computers to the internet — structure our discussion.

Here’s a pdf of the checklist: poetry










Pre-Digital Humanities

Checking out Spooner’s protean views and other ‘hold-to-light’ prints


Another way to appreciate protean views is by using a Polyorama Panoptique, popular from the 1820s through to the 1850s (and today). The portable, collapsible viewer was invented by Pierre Seguin, often given away as a souvenir during popular events or exhibitions. It is a miniature version of the megalethoscope.


John Ayston Paris, a London physician, is often credited with 19th century ‘persistence of vision’ devices. Many of the students made their own.

A portrait of Jules Verne

The Neo-Lucida is much easier to use than the original 19th-century device patented by Sir William Hyde Wollaston. That’s not just because it was invented by a Princeton graduate.


To The Moon

*play this full screen

In case you missed “To The Moon” last summer 2019 at the Museum of Natural History, you have a brief opportunity to catch it as part of the Under the Radar festival this month. Created by Laurie Anderson, Visiting Lecturer in the Princeton Atelier, and Hsin-Chien Huang, the virtual reality experience flies you through constellations built from molecular equations and alphabets forming DNA skeletons that merge science, literature, and graphic art. Commissioned by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark; The National Culture and Arts Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan; and National Taiwan Normal University, it is 15 minutes of lunar phantasmagoria. Unlike our pre-cinema collection of optical devices, this might be considered post-cinema.

The theater cautions: This production is not recommended for people with serious medical conditions including heart ailments. Pregnant women, the elderly, or anyone who risks serious injury from falling and people with epilepsy, or who are prone to seizures, dizziness, vertigo, fainting or motion sickness are not encouraged to participate in this production. As sensitivities vary from person to person, if you have specific questions regarding content, please call us at 212.967.7555.

Together with Arto Lindsay, Anderson has been teaching ATL 499, Spatial Sound, in which students “explore wave field synthesis including the dynamics of short stories, parades, suspended grammar, psychic states, animal consciousness, and depth of field in sound and film. Special attention will be paid to experimental forms of sound installation, use of different spatial techniques in live concerts, and spatial theater.” Final projects were presented on Friday, January 10, at Princeton University.

Chaucer to appear in the 2020 Rose Bowl Parade, check your local listings

For the first time in 50 years, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will be represented with a float in the Rose Bowl Parade on January 1, 2020 (see the list of floats below). The design “Cultivating Curiosity” by Phoenix Decorating Company depicts iconic elements in The Huntington’s collections, celebrating its 100th anniversary as part of a yearlong Centennial Celebration running from Sept. 2019 through Sept. 2020.

The float’s various sections include the Pavilion of the Three Friends (bamboo, pine, and plum) from the Huntington’s Chinese Garden; the Rose Garden Tempietto sculpture, Love, the Captive of Youth; the Japanese Moon Bridge; Breakfast in Bed by Mary Cassatt (1897); Long Leg by Edward Hopper (1935); and the library’s Ellesmere Chaucer.

“The elaborately decorated Ellesmere manuscript of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales was created sometime between 1400 and 1410. It contains what is believed to be a portrait of Chaucer as well as miniature paintings of 22 other fictional pilgrims who tell stories in order to enliven the journey from London to Canterbury. The medieval manuscript is on parchment.”


The first Tournament of Roses began in 1890 by the Valley Hunt Club members, led by Charles Frederick Holder, which prompted the club to add a parade before the competition, where entrants would decorate carriages with hundreds of colorful blooms. The Huntington is the only library represented.

The 2020 floats are sponsored by 2020 Royal Court; AIDS Healthcare Foundation; Amazon; Blue Diamond Almonds; Burbank Tournament of Roses Association; China Airlines; Chinese American Heritage; Chipotle Mexican Grill; City of Alhambra; City of Hope; City of Torrance/Torrance Rose Float Association; Dole Packaged Foods; Donate Life; Downey Rose Float Association; Farmers Insurance; General Society of Mayflower Descendants; Honda; Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens; Kaiser Permanente; Kiwanis International; La Canada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association; Lions Float Inc.; Lutheran Hour Ministries; Meyers Clean Day; Northwestern Mutual; Oddfellows Rebekahs Rose Float; Rotary Rose Parade Float Committee, Inc.; Shriners Hospitals for Children; Sierra Madre Rose Float Association; Sikh American Float Foundation; South Pasadena Tournament of Roses; The Cowboy Channel; The SCAN Foundation; The UPS Store; Trader Joe’s; Underground Service Alert (Dig Alert); Wescom Credit Union; and Western Asset Management Co.

Artist’s rendering of The Huntington’s 2020 entry in the Rose Parade®, designed by Phoenix Decorating Company.

The Rose Parade will be broadcast live in the United States beginning at 8:00 AM PST, on January 1, 2020. Please check your local broadcast listings for more information.

Loew’s Jersey “Wonder” Theater


The Loew’s Jersey opened on September 28, 1929, as the fourth of the five Loew’s Wonder Theaters, just two weeks after the Loew’s Paradise in the Bronx and the Loew’s Kings in Brooklyn. All five would have opened earlier but in October 1927, the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer, was released and all the Wonder theaters under construction had to be refitted for sound.

Meant to be a movie palace with “opulence unbound,” in fact the gilding throughout the lobby was actually painted aluminum and the marble columns are scagliola, a technique for producing faux marble. So much for movie magic.

The exterior has a muted terra cotta façade and standard marquee but at one time, the tower’s Saint George and the dragon was animated so that, when the clock chimed every fifteen minutes, red bulbs in the dragon’s mouth would light up and Saint George would lunge at the dragon.

According to the New York Times, “Reports of the theater opening describe an eight-foot, 150-year-old French Buhl clock, Dresden porcelain vases from the Vanderbilt mansion, bronze statues from France, crimson curtains embroidered with gold griffins and a turquoise-tiled Carrera marble fountain filled with goldfish.” Creating even more of a spectacle, guests were serenaded by live piano music or a string quartet coming from the musicians’ salon, the gallery above the entrance.”

The interior of Loew’s Jersey has appeared in several films, including Last Days of Disco and just this year Apple TV’s Dickinson, season 2, used the theater as a 19th-century opera house.


Located across from the PATH station in Journal Square, the theater was closed in 1987 and the building was slated for demolition when local residents banded together to save the historic theater. They collected 10,000 petition signatures and attended countless City Council meetings, and finally, in 1993, the city agreed to buy the theater for $325,000 and allow the newly formed Friends of the Loew’s to operate there as a nonprofit arts and entertainment center and embark on a restoration effort.

This fireplace is in the men’s room off the balcony. The Lady’s room has a separate lounge area and a third room for checking your make up.


 Read about all five wonder theaters:


Forms of the Book in the East


Martin Heijdra, Director of the East Asian Library at Princeton University, welcomed members of the IAS/Princeton workshop “Formats of the Book in East Asia and Environs” to Firestone Library and the Institute for Advanced Studies this week.

Below is the complete list of treasures Martin pulled for the group, beginning with two rare facsimiles of the Bamboo and wooden slips (Chinese: 简牍; pinyin: jiǎndú) used in China before paper. Also included were spectacular examples of book formats from South East Asia and regions beyond China.

The overall aims of the project are listed as:
The Book and the Silk Roads: Phase I” is a 2-year Mellon Foundation-funded project of the University of Toronto’s Old Books, New Science lab. The grant’s purpose is to challenge the triumphalist Western narrative of book history as a path of steps leading from the Christian codex to the Gutenberg press to the digital age. Instead, we seek to build and support a network consisting of scholars, curators, conservators, and scientists exploring significant developments in book technologies within a range of contexts, focusing particularly on occasions of cultural interchange or entanglement in the premodern world.

Amanda Goodman’s work on ephemeral documents from the Dunhuang cache has deeply inspired us, and we hope to build further points of connection with the community of Dunhuang researchers in the Princeton area. What stories can be told by exploring the varied formats and structures of the text-objects from the cache in Mogao’s Cave 17, or the recycled examination papers used as burial shoes in Turfan, now housed in Princeton’s East Asian Library collection? …

Although most of us are not part of this distinguished group, we can still appreciate the marvelous books and manuscripts being studied. Here are just a few images without commentary.

Note the corrections added to this manuscript by the author.